Part of my text-writing pleasure is interjecting playful thoughts and tongue-in-cheek one-liners that students seem to enjoy: “Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?” (If I don’t enjoy writing—assuming psychology teaching can offer both wisdom and wit—then who will enjoy reading?)
As part of my, um, “executive time,” I occasionally visit Reddit’s Showerthoughts—first for delight but also for inspiration. To quote the website, a showerthought is a spontaneous “miniature epiphany that makes the mundane more interesting. . . . Showerthoughts can be funny, poignant, thought-provoking, or even just silly, but they should always prompt people to say ‘Huh, I’ve never thought about it that way before!’”
Some Showerthought examples:
- Your stomach thinks all potato is mashed.
- We don’t wash our hands, our hands wash each other.
- Someone coined the term “coin the term.”
- If you are the best barber in town, you know you can't get the best haircut.
- The "b" in subtle is subtle.
- In a nutshell, an acorn is an oak tree.
- A lot of people die in their living rooms.
- The two worst prison sentences are life and death.
- If you swap the W’s in Where? What? and When? with T’s, you end up with their answers.
- Tea is just a fancy way of saying leaf soup.
- Everything in the entire universe either is or isn't a potato.
For your further pleasure, here are some psychology-relevant examples, each from Showerthoughts or inspired by one-liners that I encountered there. Perhaps (after my editors trim the merely silly) some of these musings will leaven our future editions?
Sleep: To fall asleep, fake it till you make it.
Loneliness: The world is full of lonely people afraid to make the first move.
Relationships: All of your friends you made by talking to strangers.
Implicit cognition: The unconscious mind is like the wind: You don’t see it, but you can see its effects.
Aging: To age is to shift from a life of “no limits” to “know limits.”
Relationships: Marrying someone because they're attractive is like buying a watermelon because it's a really nice shade of green.
Memory via acronyms: The acronym of "The Only Day After Yesterday" is TODAY.
Eating behavior: When you're “biting down" on something, you're actually biting up.
Psychokinesis claims: More spoons have been bent by ice cream than by psychics.
Death: You will be the last person to die in your lifetime.
(For David Myers’ other essays on psychological science and everyday life, visit TalkPsych.com.)